Brandon Zerk-Thatcher was part of a miserly Dons defence on Sunday. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Eleven senior-listed players featured in the Bombers' four-point VFL loss to Southport at Fankhauser Reserve on Sunday.

VFL assistant and development coach Cam Roberts has reviewed each of their performances below.


Dylan Clarke

Stats: 31 disposals, two marks, five tackles

“Dyl played our midfield and spent quite a bit of time as a forward for us. Some of his transitions up and down the ground were a highlight. He ran through the lines and was quite a damaging player for us. He had an outstanding game.” 

Martin Gleeson

Stats: 23 disposals, six marks, one tackle

“Marty was sort of the general back there as he always is. He just played a really solid game, defended really well and took a lot of intercept marks and made a lot of spoils for us, and then used the ball quite well coming out of our back half.”

Aaron Francis

Stats: 15 disposals, one goal, seven marks, one tackle, one hitout 

“’Frank’ played forward this week in the VFL which was sightly different to where he’s been playing previously given he’s been playing in the back six at AFL level, but he did really well. He competed in our forward half of the ground, provided us with a really strong marking contest or someone to kick too. He kicked one goal and two behinds, but probably should’ve had three goals. He just played a really great game - a really team-orientated game.”

Tom Hird

Stats: 15 disposals, one goal, two marks, two tackles

“’Hirdy’ played up forward again and on the wing. He was good. His forward ball craft and work from contest to contest are getting so much better. In the last quarter we put him on the wing to help us defend better and his rotation to help our defence was excellent, so he’s put together a really solid last month of footy. He’s starting to become a crafty small forward who can do some jobs on the wing."

Ring-in player Paddy McCartin gets around Tom Hird. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Lachlan Johnson

Stats: 15 disposals, two marks, two tackles 

“Lachie probably played his best game for the year. He played across half-back. I thought the way he covered the ground was the best we’ve seen from him. For the most part he made really good decisions by foot and was able to set us up, along with Marty (Gleeson) in our attack coming out of our defensive half. He’s tackling again was a real strength for him, so I thought it was a really well rounded game.”

Alec Waterman

Stats: 14 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles 

“'Waters’ was on limited game time so he played three quarters. He played high forward and throughout midfield and was super strong in the contest. His tackling and pressure were outstanding. He was able to win back the footy on quite a few occasions, and it would have been nice if he was a bit more damaging with some of his ball use. Overall he played a really good game.”

Ned Cahill

Stats: 13 disposals, four marks, three tackles 

“Ned played forward and looked really dangerous at times. He probably should’ve kicked two goals to be honest. It was a great forward ball effort by him. He had a shot on goal but missed and then took a really nice contested mark late in the game to go back and have a set shot but unfortunately he missed that too, so if he’d kicked those he would have capped off a really good game.”

Cody Brand

Stats: 12 disposals, six marks 

“Cody defended really well. He was solid back there in our defence and it was sort of a typical ‘Brandy’ game from a defensive point of view. Unfortunately for him some of his kicking let him down. He turned the ball over in some dangerous spots for us but it was really pleasing to see that the defensive side of his game is continually progressing.”

Nick Bryan

Stats: 12 disposals, one mark, 32 hitouts  

“Nick didn’t have a great first half, but what was really pleasing is how he responded after half-time to have a really big impact on the game. He was a bit quiet in that first half and was getting a bit frustrated, but he was able to work through that. His ruck craft and follow-up work, which is his strength, was a real highlight again in that second half. I think the pleasing aspect was his ability to sort of change his mindset and get himself back in the game.”

Nick Bryan stepped up in the second half against the Sharks. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

Stats: 12 disposals, seven marks, six tackles

“’Zerk’ played deep in defence. He was really solid defensively, took some really strong intercept marks, defended really well and just denied Southport's forwards any sort of opportunities of easy hit-up marks, so that was super by him. Again, probably a little but like ‘Brandy’, some of his kicking wasn’t ideal. He missed some targets and options that he would normally hit, but again his defensive work as a defensive back was a real highlight.”

Josh Eyre

Stats: Six disposals, one goal, two marks, two tackles 

“Josh played forward and then went into the ruck for us at different stages to give Nick [Bryan] a bit of a rest. He competed really well and got to probably the most aerial contests that he has all year. He’s still got a bit of work to do on his aerial craft. He finished off a beautiful goal as a result of a sling tackle which sort of knocked him around a bit, but he went back and kicked a beautiful goal outside 50. Some of his leading patterns were much improved this week, so I felt like he took some nice steps forward in his development.”